Discipline: Literature – nonfiction

JC Lee

Discipline: Literature – nonfiction
Region: Pittsburgh, PA
MacDowell Fellowships: 2023

JC Lee is interested in the essay in its many forms—personal, critical, nature, lyric, list. Their writing has appeared in Hotel Amerika, Mid-American Review, Critical Quarterly, and elsewhere, and in 2016, they were awarded an Edward Albee Foundation Fellowship.

Lee teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, where they delight in working with people who do and do not think of themselves as writers, and is faculty in the Pitt Prison Education Project where Pitt students and incarcerated students reading and writing together inside.

Their most recent essay, “Monongahela,” is part of a book on Pittsburgh, the self-taught painter John Kane, and magic. Like Lee, Kane made no money from his art but kept on anyway, even as he worked in the mills and railyards, even after he lost his leg to a lightless train. While at MacDowell, Lee communed with the trees of Pittsburgh, writing about “The Old Elm” and Kane’s devotion to beauty.



JC Lee worked in the Chapman studio.

Chapman Studio was funded by Mrs. Alice Woodrough Chapman in memory of her husband, composer George Alexander Chapman. Symmetrically massed, the building is stuccoed on the exterior with a natural, unpainted cement. Its unusual half-timbered ornament consists of slender, knotty spruce poles painted a dark green color. A central, peak-roofed entrance porch appears on the north side…

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